Imagine a layered cake, a parfait, or any layered dessert. A similar type of layering occurs in thin films of block copolymers, only the layers are tens of nanometers thick (a hundred thousand times thinner than a sheet of paper)! If we place a liquid on the surface that attracts one of the layers beneath, then the layers within the film will rearrange themselves in an attempt to allow the attracted layer to reach the liquid. The floral arrangement shown above is actually an electron microscope image that captured such a rearrangement, magnified twenty thousand times. This image from the Samuel Gido Research Group doubles as art. See more of these spectacular images at the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center MRSEC VISUAL gallery.
Photo Courtesy: VISUAL